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May 8, 2023

Episode 98: Bullying: Not on Our Watch (Thanks to Dr. Kate Lund)

In this podcast episode, DJ and Dr. Kate Lund are discussing the topic that many of us dread… what to do when our child is the bully. But fear not! Dr. Kate is sharing her insights and expertise on how to address this delicate situation with sensitivity. Stay tuned as they delve into the topic of resilience, and how to help our kids stand up for themselves and to hear her explain how with the right tools and guidance, we can all negotiate this tricky terrain with a bit of laughter and a whole lot of love.

Dr. Kate Lund is a licensed clinical psychologist, peak performance coach, best-selling author and Tedx Speaker. With a specialized training in medical psychology, she uses a strength and evidenced-based approach to help parents and children build resilience so they can thrive in school, sports, and life. During Kate's childhood she faced and eventually overcame a difficult childhood illness, so she learned at an early age to believe in the possibility that exists on the other side of challenges.

• [3:53] Dr. Kate Lund explains how her own experience of being bullied as a child is a part of her resilience.
• [18:16] Dr. Lund and DJ discuss how parents and teachers can be more aware of the bullying that’s happening in the classroom.
• [26:26] Dr. Kates shares what parents can do when they get information that their child has behaved inappropriately.
• [37:40] Dr. Kate talks about the the importance of understanding the experience of our kids.

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Host: The Optimized Mind Podcast


DJ Stutz  0:00  
We think you should know that Imperfect Heroes podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA, 

You're listening to Episode 98 of Imperfect Heroes - Insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. And I'm your host DJ Stutz. And today's episode, we have a very special guest joining us, Dr. Kate Lund, who is a licensed clinical psychologist and an expert in developing resilience. And we're going to be discussing the topic that many of us dread what to do when our child is the bully. But fear not as Dr. Kate will be sharing her insights and expertise on how to address this delicate situation. With sensitivity, we will also be delving into the topic of resilience, and how to help our kids stand up for themselves without adding to the already fiery situation. Because let's face it, parenting can be tough. But with the right tools and guidance, we can all negotiate this tricky terrain with a bit of laughter and a whole lot of love. So sit back and relax. And let's dive into this important conversation. There's so much to learn. So let's get started.

Speaking of bullies have you noticed that some people tend to have a natural talent for bringing out the worst in others. It's like they're on this mission to push every button and pull every string like they have a PhD and making people feel miserable. In all seriousness, bullying is a pervasive issue that can have long lasting effects on its victims. And it's important that we don't turn a blind eye to the possibility that our own children may be involved. It can be tough to acknowledge that our kids may be displaying bullying behavior. But that denial can prevent us from addressing these behaviors and helping our children develop the skills that they need in order to be kinder and more compassionate individuals. And that's where Dr. Kate Lund comes in. With her years of experience in working with families and children, she can help us develop strategies to address bullying behavior, and teaching our kids better problem solving skills, empathy, and kindness. And by working with experts like Dr. Lund, we can create a more compassionate, caring community where bullying behaviors are just not tolerated. And children are encouraged to be their best selves. So let's not shy away from these tough conversations. And let's take a stand against bullying in all its form from every source listening, and you're gonna see what I mean. 

Welcome, everyone, and thank you for joining us for the next little bit at Imperfect Heroes podcast. And today we are talking about a subject I've honestly been looking for someone who could talk to me about this topic for quite a while. And I've run into Dr. Kate Lund is an expert in a lot of things. And she's raising twin boys and a joy to talk to, and we're going to be talking about bullying. But when your child is the bully, someone's got to be doing all that bullying, right? And nobody ever wants to really admit that it might be their kiddo that is doing that. And so, Dr. Lund, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about the things you have going on?

Dr. Kate Lund  3:53  
Sure, absolutely. Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me, I greatly appreciate it. It's fun to be here. But as you mentioned, I'm a licensed clinical psychologist for almost 20 years. And I have a robust practice in the Pacific Northwest where I work with mainly children and families, helping them to build resilience, maximize potential and thrive within their own unique, unique context. I've done a lot of work through the medical psychology domain, and also sports performance. So an eclectic mix, but mostly all focused on kids families, with some adults thrown in there. I've written a book on this topic, and it's really a true passion of mine, probably stemming from my own childhood experience with a medical illness that caused me to really need to be resilient and figured out how to move through and beyond the obstacles and see possibility even when things were quite difficult. But fortunately, I had a lot of good supports in that. So that's sort of professionally the big picture. And other than that, I'm a golfer, I'm a fitness dizziest I've got twin boys who keep me on my toes. And I'm a dog lover. Oh, so

DJ Stutz  5:05  
cool. I am to Gosh. And there's so many things that so many angles, you talk about resiliency, and kids who have been bullied have to be resilient in how they respond and overcome. But I think the act of bullying is part of resilience as well. And they are struggling often, not 100% of time, I think. But often they're struggling with their own resilience abilities with stuff that's going on with them. Does that sound right to you?

Dr. Kate Lund  5:35  
Well, yeah, there's a lot of literature out there, as well as anecdotal evidence that says or suggests that when a child feels the need to bully, put another kid down, kind of either physically or emotionally, verbally, what have you. It's because they're not feeling very good inside, they're not feeling good about themselves in their own right. So it's really important to help all of our children to sort of appreciate their own unique context, and build on their strengths within that context, recognizing that all of our contexts are not the same, we're all different, right? And then on top of that, really educating early on about the importance of understanding and appreciating individual difference, such that that does not become a point of bullying, sort of a launchpad for bullying sort of kid not feeling very good about himself, sees a kid who's different or struggling in some way, status, an opportunity to feel more powerful, feel better about themselves by putting that other child who might be struggling or different in some way down. And that, right, that's a reality that we see a lot. And it's a very difficult reality.

DJ Stutz  6:54  
And so very often, in my experience as a teacher, and in kindergarten, bullying, it's part of life, I think, in so many ways, and dealing with a bully, and there's always the chance that even the best sweetest kid, given the right circumstances, on the right day, can be guilty of bullying. At some level, even the sweetest kids can do it. They've just had enough or maybe grandma grandpa have been visiting and they are not in their bed because grandma and grandpa took it or their standard strikes. They're scheduled, right? Even though it's a good thing. It's so exciting to have grandma and grandpa there. But it's messed around with their schedule with their routines with their familiar places, sometimes different food, whatever. And so they've just overly stressed and they've had a bad day.

Dr. Kate Lund  7:48  
Yeah, sure. And so then perhaps they act out that bad day, or that stress by being mean to somebody pushing somebody on the playground, if we're talking kindergarten, or saying something mean, or I don't know, pulling someone's hair, whatever might happen in that way in kindergarten. Yeah, for sure. And that's a very common thing that can happen and that we can see important thing there is for teachers and parents, if the event is kind of pointed out, but somebody to point out to that child, well, hey, you know, that's, that wasn't very nice. And try to engage them in a developmentally appropriate way to either talk through it or model different behavior or what have you, but important to not let that kind of a thing pass by, given that, you know, this might be, you know, as you mentioned, the sweetest kid ever, very uncharacteristic, but still important to sort of point it out and help steer that child in different directions. The next time they're stressed.

DJ Stutz  8:52  
It's funny, this was, oh, gosh, probably three or four years ago, I had a little girl and just an angel, academically high, socially skilled control of your emotions, very helpful with other kids, whatever. And all of a sudden, just out of the blue, she has a bad day. And she actually wound up with her little note home saying, Yeah, you might want to talk with Suzy for a minute. And her mom, the next day came to me and she was kind of laughing she's I have to apologize for her behavior. I'm like, Well, I was just surprised because it was so uncharacteristic of her. And what had happened is that gotten a new puppy and she was very excited, overly stimulated. The puppy had cried all my first night home and so nobody got much sleep. And then she was upset because she wanted to stay home from school that day and play with the new puppy. Oh, and so and she couldn't and so, and she said, but honestly, I've kind of been hoping that she would get one of these. Here, you know that she isn't Molly perfect all the time and, and that that shows the human side of her. And I was really pleased with the attitude that mom had that talking to her and saying, I understand that you were tired. And I understand that you wanted to play with the puppy. And you couldn't, you know, you got you could play after school, but you had to go to school, and I know you didn't want to go. But that doesn't excuse the behavior that was going on. And so I really appreciated mom's attitude about that. The one thing I would have liked for mom in that situation as a teacher, is I would have loved just maybe a quick email or a text or whatever, all my parents, I know they, they'd say, Oh, parents, your phone number, I always did never had an issue with it. I never had a parent abused it. But I would have appreciated some kind of notice that, hey, we got a new puppy yesterday. And it cried all night, she didn't get a lot of sleep. And she's upset because she really wanted to stay home and play with the puppy, then at least when some of these things were happening, I would have that reference and supporting her. Yes. And I think that's a big key for parents. with teachers, is that communication there? Of course,

Dr. Kate Lund  11:29  
yes, definitely, definitely sort of communication with teachers about sort of the realities of you know, what's what's going on at home, particularly if there's a unusual stressor happening that might impact the, you know, the way that the child shows up in class. Also, I love what that mom did in terms of communication with her child, sort of really trying to understand the experience the child was having on that day, upset about not being home with a puppy, she helped that child sort of articulate what was going on for her, which is a really important piece when something goes off the tracks such that you're not just coming in with a punitive correction, child, so I really like that. And then some modeling, it sounds like like, well, we can't act like this. So this isn't okay, and how can we shift gears on this next time, that sort of thing. And the I understand how you're feeling peace, but you still had to go to school, and here's why type a deal. Right. portant peace,

DJ Stutz  12:35  
great parents, and you could kind of see it in the confidence and the general kindness. But this was such an anomaly with the child that a lot of willingness to help other kids who are struggling. And so there's that piece of it. So we've talked a little bit about that anomaly behavior, where your child can be a bully, and it's like, well, wow, what happened here? This is not like them. Sure. Then you've got the kid where bless their little hearts, that's just part of their everyday life.

Dr. Kate Lund  13:06  
Right? That's just part of who they are. Yeah, yeah.

DJ Stutz  13:10  
So just a reminder to my listeners, when I was teaching for, oh, gosh, 90% of my teaching career, I was teaching in very low income schools. So we had a lot of diversity, we had a lot of gang activity by parents.

Unknown Speaker  13:29  
School. Oh, boy. Okay, so we had

DJ Stutz  13:31  
some really interesting times. And so I would have a little boys who would come in and demean little girls, and call them my bees and

Dr. Kate Lund  13:44  
oh, so difficult, right. And so maybe related to some of what they're observing at home, which is so very hard for you as a teacher, because you're not going to change, we can't change the behavior and the attitudes of other folks. And so that part is sort of is what it is. And so as a teacher, really trying to model at school and point out what an alternative way of engaging and interacting might be keeping in mind that they're still going back to those influences at home. It's a very difficult balance. Very difficult.

DJ Stutz  14:18  
It is, and people will tend to want to blame parents on this. But I felt this was my attitude. I felt like these were parents who were raised in that same environment, that not that long ago, they were the little kid in kindergarten, right? Showing the behaviors, you know what I mean? Yeah, so I don't know. So we can go back and try to find someone to blame. Which is useless,

Dr. Kate Lund  14:46  
I think, right? Yeah. Not Yes.

DJ Stutz  14:48  
But we're or we can say, Okay, this is where you are. How can I help you? Are you ready to take another step? And you can do that with the parent as well. As the student,

Dr. Kate Lund  15:02  
yes, absolutely to really have open dialogue, transparency around what you're seeing and what sort of your ideas are for direction moving forward, and how might we work together without blaming or pointing fingers or anything along those lines, but just trying to make the whole system better community system better, starting with the behaviors that you're observing.

DJ Stutz  15:31  
I think that's important, like we would do with math or reading. I mean, you have that goal in your mind of where they should be. But you're never gonna get there until you identify and deal with what the reality is today. They made my point, and it's way behind. But if we start teaching them, oh, but you should be doing this and this. And so that's where I'm going to teach you they're never going to progress, because you're skipping a bunch of steps. And I think that's the same thing with social emotional behaviors, as well as taking a real assessment of this is where my child is not quite where I want them to be. But okay, but this is where they are.

Dr. Kate Lund  16:13  
Right? This is where they are. And this is where we'd like to move. How might we do this in a way that makes sense for this individual child? Is what I'm thinking. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  16:25  
Yeah, I think so. And so when you talk to a parent, I'm sorry. It seemed like I often got to speaking in great generalities, right. But there were kind of two camps that you would deal with. One was the parent who was always blaming other kids. See other kids fall, there are other kids are being mean, and they're just protecting themselves and whatever. And I'm like, I kind of just watched him stab another kid with a pencil. So yeah, marker, you know, but it's always someone else's fault. Or I would get the parent who would just kind of lose it. And I think that these were parents who were, they were just overloaded with so many things in that. So then they start yelling, and at the kid, you're a monster, why are you such a monster? And why are you behaving so horribly? And or why can't I've gotten this one? Why can't you be like your brother, your brother never gets into trouble or your older sister or whatever it is. And one time, I had a little boy, and he was one of those kids that was perpetually pushing the buttons of other kids, and just saying mean things and stuff. And so we were after school, and he had an older brother. And we were talking after school. And so I was kind of talking to mom about what happened. And I was wanting to get to where we could talk about collaborating on next steps. And just lusted was just like, you're such a monster and, and your brother never gets into trouble. And, and, and the brother standing the you know, the quote, unquote, good brother was standing right there. And, and I forget his name, you know, Joey, what's going to happen if he keeps doing this? And he goes, Oh, you're gonna go to jail, man. And oh, dear, just like Uncle so and so.

Unknown Speaker  18:16  
Oh, dear.

DJ Stutz  18:18  
Oh, this was a disaster, we're gonna have to rethink how we talk to mom. So when parents are saying things like that kids tend to believe that I'm a monster, right?

Dr. Kate Lund  18:26  
Yeah. Take it in, right. So we want to be really careful as parents, what we're communicating, particularly when things are going off the rails a little bit, and really being careful in terms of behaviors that we're modeling. But, as you mentioned, it's easier said than done in terms of how that actually looks in reality, but important nonetheless. And so then, in school, a real opportunity. And again, easier said than done, because you've got a lot on your plate. As a teacher, you've gotten moments where you're probably overwhelmed with the whole class of five year olds and moving in 17 different directions. But just having this a framework for modeling, how you speak to kids, and how they can speak to each other, and maybe role playing with them around these things, just any tidbits of how this could look in a more positive way that you can impart on the students is really, really vital, especially when they're being exposed to a different side of the continuum at home.

DJ Stutz  19:32  
Right? So maybe we could talk for a second, or maybe more than a second, about bullying within the family. So maybe you've got one child that tends to be hard on the other kids, or maybe they're just taking turns once again, it can depend on the situation and what's going on if the kids hungry, if they're not if they're tired, if they're stressed. Yeah, all kinds of things can all come in. So as parents you And we see that going on within our own family, or maybe we see our child playing with the neighbor, kids, and what are some of the things that we want to look for, not just to make sure our child isn't being bullied, but that our child isn't the bully, right?

Dr. Kate Lund  20:14  
You know, it's oftentimes physical behavior being awfully rough. And that can be modeled at home, I've worked with folks without with a family system just interacts in a rougher way. So then that is normalized and then brought out into the world into the playground. And that becomes difficult because not all kids are wired that way. Maybe this kid is being sort of socialized in that way at home, it's normal punch, we push we hit with our siblings. And that's just the way we communicate. But then when you get out onto the playground, and you've got a very sensitive child, or you've got a child who isn't socialized in that way, and isn't used to that kind of behavior can become very, very difficult on both sides of the equation. And so we want to be really, really careful as parents as teachers to be looking for signs that somebody is acting in a dominating, domineering kind of way. And what is the impact on the other kids who might not be accustomed or socialized in those ways, right, it can be very overwhelming can really cause a significant degree of emotional distress. So we really want to be aware of what's happening as best we can, as parents and teachers in terms of the social dynamics, nuances of these relationships that are unfolding in the classroom, on the playground, during playdates during recreational sports, activities, all of these things. And we want to be open as parents. But if we're the parent coming from the house, where the boys are socialized to just beat each other all the time, right. And that's not the norm in another house. Maybe it's a boy's house. But that's just not the norm. We want to be open as a parent to understand that, wow, the way my kid is behaving towards his teammates on the rec soccer team might not feel very good to those other kids. Instead of just shutting it down, like boys will be boys, what do you expect type of thing because I've, I've seen this happen both ways. And it's, it's really difficult when a parent isn't able to see the actual reality of what's happening and the impact on others as opposed to what's the norm in their own house.

DJ Stutz  22:32  
I'm the oldest of seven. I have five brothers. And we joke around because my mom literally was raised by lumberjacks, which is one step up from wolves. And so our home was a very physical home, very physical. And my mom would wrestle wrestle with the birth of my brothers and me and my sister sometimes. And so that physical part was almost not almost it was it was like part of the love that was shown it wasn't the tender. huggy huggy house. Sure, you know what I mean. But that physical play was just part of the love language that was there. And so I think there's this pendulum, where it goes from Super physical, brush it off, you know, Oh, you're hurt, rub some dirt in it and walk it off. Be a man, I, my mom said that. I can't tell you how many times because that was just the way the way it was exactly. And then you've got the other side of the pendulum that is really, really feely and emotions. And oh, we can't play this and you can't do normal things the boys do, you might get hurt. I've seen some parents that with kindergarteners, they were you know, like on out in a parking lot. They'll have those little small blocks to regulate where cars park and you know, yeah, those little dividers. And the kids will walk on that because kids love to walk on things like that and test themselves physically and push themselves with gross motor skills. And I've seen parents like oh, no, no, don't get on there. You might fall, you might get hurt. It's like three inches off the ground. So we're raising kids who are risk averse. They're not willing to take risks to get themselves whatever. And so it's a wide pendulum that's out there. What are some of the things that parents should maybe look at within themselves to make sure that they're finding that balance because I think it's a balance is the best approach between being able to be physical take risks, yes, give give and take with the emotional stuff to add not being literally devastated because someone said you're fat or I don't like your shirt.

Dr. Kate Lund  24:54  
Precisely. It precisely and that's the thing because we are going to encounter those types. have comments and attitudes and things out there, it's not always going to be smooth, it's not always going to be easy. So yes, our kids need to be ready for those kinds of challenges. And it's kind of helping them to build that internal locus of control from the inside out to appreciate who they are within their own unique context, to kind of work within the context of their strengths so that when a challenge hits, they're not going to be knocked down, devastated, defeated by it. And I think that the same principle applies to parents who want to put their kids in bubble wrap, and not let them climb on the parking divider, that sort of thing, sort of really trying to understand what that's about what is the fear, and to find ways to start moving more in the direction of being able to shift themselves out of their comfort zone in ways that feels okay, and building from there. And that will allow them to do the same with their kids, because that's so important for our kids, to be able to take steps outside of their comfort zone, to take realistic sort of risks that aren't way outside the box, but are pushing themselves a little bit beyond their comfort zone physically or otherwise. And without that our kids really will have trouble moving towards and maximizing their full potential.

DJ Stutz  26:26  
Yeah, I agree. I agree. And so I think taking an assessment of where you are and thinking, after you're done reacting to something, maybe assessing, okay, was that a good reaction or a bad reaction? not to beat yourself up? But then to say, Oh, this part, maybe I could have done better. And so why would have reacted in this manner? What was going on with me? Yes, that made me react this way.

Dr. Kate Lund  26:57  
Right. And that's so important, you bring up such an important point, awareness, right, we all want to be aware of what's driving our reactions, what's driving our behaviors, what's driving, how we are, in certain situations, easier said than done. But it's a practice to become aware of these things, sort of noticing the impact of the reaction, right, noticing the way someone reacted to what we said or did, and helping our kids to do the same sort of at the cornerstone, it's the foundation, its cornerstone of emotional intelligence, and the skills that we want to be imparting in our kids from the very beginning.

DJ Stutz  27:39  
Right, right. I think this is just me, and I'm not a psychologist, I'm just an early childhood specialist. But my experience is that when parents come to the defense and don't want their child to face consequences, from behaviors, different behaviors, that means their child actually becomes worse and more aggressive, because my parents because

Dr. Kate Lund  28:01  
they, they believe they can, yeah, because that is a certain degree of entitlement that's fostered in that way, right? Because it's like, well, I can do what I want, because my parents are gonna back me up and side with me type of thing. And, you know, it's a difficult, challenging message to be giving our kids because it will most likely lead to them not knowing how to take responsibility for much of anything, or to engage in a way that's going to be, you know, fruitful for them academically or otherwise. And so it's a very challenging message for us to be giving, giving our kids.

DJ Stutz  28:41  
So what are some things then that parents can do when they get information, whether it's from the teacher or the principal, or another parent, right? that their child has behaved inappropriately? What are some things that parents can do then to help their child through that situation a,

Dr. Kate Lund  28:58  
well, the parent wants to be open to hearing the full report or story or what have you. And then they want to talk with their child about it, understand their experience within it, and try to kind of sift out the full story in that way, and move forward from there. But the most important thing a parent can do is to listen to the other side, and then to try to understand the experience of their child, as opposed to putting up walls in terms of this couldn't have happened. I don't believe it, not my kid type of thing. Because as we've sort of already talked about and demonstrated, we all might have a bad day. It's possible that we might act outside of what's typical for us. And I think parents need to be open to accepting that reality.

DJ Stutz  29:51  
Right? I always joked around that any parent who starts a sentence with my child would never write I don't care how you end that sentence, right? If you You start your stance that way you shown yourself in a state of denial and disengagement. Honestly, I think it's a disengagement. Because sometimes, and I've had to go through this with my kids, my two boys. It's a miracle that no one they are and continue to beat. Well, Shiloh not so much. He's calmed down some in his older age, but a Christian more in Christians, the police officer, but definitely adrenaline junkies growing up taking risks jumping off a big things and

Dr. Kate Lund  30:32  
yeah, okay. So they were Yeah, yeah. And so stakers Yeah, very much

DJ Stutz  30:38  
risk takers, very much risk takers. And I knew that they were good boys. They were bad kids. They just love taking chances. And sometimes they would, in their exuberance of youth. Mm hmm. Yes. Yeah. Not make the best decisions.

Dr. Kate Lund  30:55  
Right. Okay. Sure. Can Happen. Yeah, it can.

DJ Stutz  30:59  
It can. And so, I think that being alert and aware that it's possible. And yeah, maybe he did hit the other child. And maybe the child maybe had it come in, for whatever reason, especially in a child's mind.

Dr. Kate Lund  31:14  
Right. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  31:17  
And so they feel very justified. And they may be justified in that action. But instead of just blaming the other kid that I gotta say, I understand Joey did not behave appropriately. Joey hurt your feelings. Joey pushed you down, Joey, whatever, that you can say, I understand that. And that wasn't okay. Right? That precisely, but precise. And you control?

Dr. Kate Lund  31:45  
Yes, exactly. And what internal locus of control and then what would be a better response, and helping the child in a developmentally appropriate way to see that. And also, then as a parent to be modeling, the behavior that you hope to see in your child isn't always going to be a direct transfer, but modeling that kind of behavior, that openness to hearing the situation, understanding the circumstances, as opposed to putting up that wall that we were talking about a moment ago?

DJ Stutz  32:15  
Right, right. I always liked the idea. And I coach my parents with this is actually practicing scenarios.

Dr. Kate Lund  32:22  
Yeah. Role playing. Absolutely. Yes. And little guys love role playing. They love it. Yes, they do. Uh huh.

DJ Stutz  32:28  
Yeah. Even as young as three years old, they'll happily be involved in that role playing?

Dr. Kate Lund  32:33  
Sure. Absolutely. I think it's a great idea. It's a great strategy that we recommend Absolutely. And role playing in the classroom as well. I'm sure that you had some of that going on in your classroom.

DJ Stutz  32:43  
Yeah, in fact, we had a daily thing I would do a morning, your morning circle with your kiddos. And that was part of our early morning routine along with the weather and the date. And yes, we would,

Dr. Kate Lund  32:57  
I love kindergarten.

DJ Stutz  32:59  
Oh, it's so much fun. I loved it too. It was I missing it a lot. We'd have a cup with different scenarios. And so that would be one of the jobs is one of the kids could come and pick a scenario. And then we pulled it out. And, and often I would put things in there things that had happened in the class in the past or whatever. But if you're doing it as part of your morning group, everyone's pretty calm and and they're not hot tempered, it's a great time of day. And then we would have some of the kids show different ways of Okay, so who can show up better when they'd raise their hand? Okay, come on up. And we'd have someone play one role and someone play another role. And that really does help where they have a chance to think it through clearly without the anger in their head. And yes,

Dr. Kate Lund  33:44  
yes, exactly. Such such a good strategy and another strategy. And I wonder if you had this in the classroom as well, but it's a it's a wonderful strategy, particularly with the little guys is teaching them some sort of rudimentary mindfulness behavior or activity, the in order so that they can, you know, really modulate or manage their stress response consistently. So if you're teaching it to them in moments when they're not stressed, within the context of morning circle time, or what have you, you know, there really could be integrating what it feels like to be in that stress modulated or stress manage state, such that naturally, when a stressor hits, they're not going to escalate to the point of shutting down or acting out in a way that will get them into trouble.

DJ Stutz  34:32  
Yeah, one of the things that and you could do this at home, I mean, anything that they do in the classroom, you can do at home. And in fact, I think that's a great strategy. You know, it could be kindergarten, first, second grade, whatever. Talk to the teachers about some of the strategies they're using in the classroom and then replicate some of that at home. So one of the things that I had was, I had a little guy a couple years ago, and he was totally into cars totally, but was struggling. was some of his social abilities? Yes. And he could get very angry very fast. And yeah, so we had the car that would be at the start line. Mm hmm. Right. And so how revved up is your car? How Yes, because he loved the cars. And he could relate to that. And so he could go and pick where his car was. So when we would start in the morning, as part of his coming in, we had a thing where their names were on magnets, and they'd move their name from home to school, you know, part of that? And then yeah, him part of it was he would go and move his car to where he was feeling right then. I like it. Yeah. And the hysterical thing was, oh, this was probably in December. I know it was before Christmas break, but it was not much before. And he came up to me Meza, starts, you know, he's all big fall. And I'm like, Yeah, and he's like, You gotta come here, come here, you gotta come here, you know, like, okay, so I walked over, and he took me to the gauge with his car. And he said, My car's clear over here. It was in the red zone, and oh, wow, that's really red, what's happening. But it was him that initiated. And he wanted to show me, this is where I am. And so we were able to help him work through. And we had some things there, not just for him, because we had, you know, in kindergarten, they're still learning to regulate. Right? Of course, what lessons are and yes, what am I feeling now and whatever. So we had different calm down points within the classroom. So that one was a poster board that had different fabrics with different textures to them. And so they could go and rub it and feel the different textures. We had one with the pinwheel. And then on the bottom or not, but about midway up on the PYD. Will, we taped a fake flower? Right, and so they would smell the flower. And then below the pinwheel? Oh, excellent. Visual, Yang, you know, well, this same little guy, he had such great parents, and I just love this family. And so we've duplicated everything that we add in the classroom for him, and and sent that home for mom to use at home. And so he was getting the same strategies in both places. And so that was a further commonality, where he was able to rely on the same things.

Dr. Kate Lund  37:40  
Yes. And that just strengthens the whole puzzle, right? It strengthens how that's going to be integrated. So that's perfect.

DJ Stutz  37:48  
Yeah, because a lot of times, especially when they're the young guys that we're talking about, up to age eight, sure, sometimes just these huge emotions that they don't know what to do with. And so it can turn into bullying.

Dr. Kate Lund  38:01  
Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. And so that's why it's so important for us as parents to be modeling behaviors to be understanding and accepting of the fact that our kids might behave in ways that aren't awesome at points. And to help kind of reel that in by pointing it out to our children, thinking about alternative ways of being, but even more importantly, really understanding the experience of our kids in those moments, like what's going on? What's driving that difficult behavior and trying to unravel? That is really central really important.

DJ Stutz  38:40  
Yeah. Once in a while, I would get someone apparently come and say, My son or daughter is always complaining about so and so. Like, they hit them. They're saying mean things. And I have to say, Okay, well, let me just tell you one thing, those two are best friends. If I turn my back, I can put them on different I don't want them to sit in at the same table. I can do that. But the minute that they have any kind of free time or whatever, you're at the same table, they're at the same table, they're choosing the same activities, or they're out on the playground, I'm not even out on the playground with them. You know, they're, that's my planning time. And so there's aids out there. And so they're frenemies. You know, you get that. Yeah. Yeah, that going on. And so I think sometimes being understanding or I would get someone who says so and so is always hitting my kid. And I'm thinking your kid hits more people in our class than anybody else.

Dr. Kate Lund  39:44  
So be open to sort of the collateral information sort of gathering information from more than one perspective. And oftentimes, I think parents will rely on just their kids report which might be reflective of their experience. In those moments, but there's often more to the big picture.

DJ Stutz  40:04  
Right? Right. And so I think we need to be really careful about I always told my parents, I'll only believe half of what they say about what goes on at home. If you do the same for me. Yes, yes. Uh huh. And it may be that they're making up stories in line, they're certainly capable of that by kindergarten. And, but it also may be that a little kids perspective of things is from a lower viewpoint. I mean, just visually, their perspective is different emotionally, their perspective is different. And so what they're saying may be truthful to their understanding of things, but not really truthful, of what really happened.

Dr. Kate Lund  40:47  
Right, right. Yeah, that's a really good point. And so developmentally, there's a component there, right, in terms of kids, when they're five, are going to see things very much centric to themselves have a harder time taking on the perspectives of others understanding, but that's where it's a really important point to start helping them to build that ability, helping them to move in that direction, by modeling. And by pointing things out and trying to understand their experience, but also saying, but let's look at the other side of it type of thing. No guarantees that they'll be able to take it in quite yet. But to start that process is important.

DJ Stutz  41:28  
So I have these three questions. That was the parents I coach. And then when I was teaching with the kids that I taught, we had three questions when you make a decision to think about so one was what's the best thing that could happen? If I do this? What's the worst thing that could happen? If I do this? Yeah. How would this affect other people? Mm hmm. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Man. We would work hard on asking our kids this or even you can even do it retroactively. You hit Joey, because he took your car and you wanted that car. And he was rude and just grabbed it right out of your hand. So yes, you just plowed him one. Right. Okay. Yeah. So what did you think good was going to happen?

Dr. Kate Lund  42:15  
Right, right.

DJ Stutz  42:16  
What really happened? Were you surprised that you were in trouble or whatever? What's something else you could have done? That could have brought a different outcome? Yeah. How would how did this affect Joey? How did this affect the classroom? How did this affect the teacher? And kids as young as in my experience, and you're the psychologist, so you're going to know, but references that kids as young as three, depending on how you frame the question, can understand these three concepts?

Dr. Kate Lund  42:47  
At a pretty rudimentary stage, yeah, you know, very, very beginning, but not all kids at that point. Right, right. But still important to be planting the seeds through modeling, never hurts to point it out, never hurts to say it, whether or not the child is in the space to actually take it in. But then it's the repetition in the modeling, it's the repetition in the pointing out to try to help the child develop that internal locus of control around right and wrong and more positive versus less positive behaviors, right? ways to

DJ Stutz  43:23  
interact, you bring up such a great point in planning the seeds and that repetition. That's so important, because at first, like with any other skill, I think you're having to think of them as separate questions that it's taking some time to process it, where eventually, it'll just kind of be a snap, you're able to process all of that very, very quickly. And so that becomes part of your internal voice, as you're making decisions.

Dr. Kate Lund  43:52  
Yes, exactly. becomes integrated, internalized over time, and it just kind of becomes part of the fabric of how you are in the world. But that takes time. And it takes experience and perspective to really dial that in and make it solid.

DJ Stutz  44:09  
Yeah. I think in the end, I think that we need to make sure that our kids know we love them. Yes, there are boundaries. Uh huh. Yes, that there are kind and appropriate ways to enforce the boundaries. You have to scream and yell or hit them or whatever. But you just need to stand strong. Yes, and may exactly understand this behavior isn't going to fly. Right.

Dr. Kate Lund  44:35  
Right. And the being strong within your own context, comes with time and experience, sort of having the opportunity to see the strengths that you bring to your contacts to build on those. And as that continues to happen, you know, and as parents, we can foster that process, right. And that's the very thing that will help a child say Back to the bully or the kid who acted inappropriately or what have you. Yeah. Okay, but that's not going to fly with me. And you're not going to knock me down. Yeah. Yeah, that's a process to it takes time.

DJ Stutz  45:12  
Yeah. Yeah. And then even as they get older, if they see someone else being bullied, to be able to move forward without even addressing the bully, but going to the quote, unquote, victim, I hate that word, but and saying, Hey, come play with me. Yeah,

Dr. Kate Lund  45:27  
exactly. Right, like inviting that other child in? Absolutely.

DJ Stutz  45:32  
That's huge. And again, that comes with maturity and

Dr. Kate Lund  45:35  
experience. It does. And it does, and high maturity, experience discussions, all of those things are so important. But yeah, that is the ultimate outcome as a goal for the outcome.

DJ Stutz  45:47  
So Dr. Kate, did this has gone by too fast? I could talk to you for another all day, actually.

Dr. Kate Lund  45:54  
But I know so. So fun, so much fun. Yeah,

DJ Stutz  45:58  
we'll have to have you back in and talk about some other things that are so important as well. But if our listeners want to hear more about your book, or get in touch with you, what are the some of the good ways to do that?

Dr. Kate Lund  46:11  
Yeah, so the best way would be through my website, which is www kaitland So it's my name? kaitland, Perfect. That would be a great way to do that. Yeah, absolutely. Okay.

DJ Stutz  46:25  
Well, we'll certainly have that in our show notes. Or they can run down and just click on it will get the link on there. And so before we go, I always ask my guests the same question at the end. And that is, how would you describe a successful parent?

Dr. Kate Lund  46:42  
Gotcha. That is such a great question, right? And so the first thing I would say is, there's no one size fits all right, success, for you might look different than success for me, and so on and so forth. So that's the first thing. But knowing your child, and really being open to hearing and understanding their experience and experiences and perspectives is really, really important. And also believing in the possibilities that are out there for your child, despite the challenges that might come up, right. And then as we've talked about, also being open to collateral data information out there not going down that road of my child would never write. Those I think are the big points that would kind of answer your question, keeping in mind that there's no one size fits all.

DJ Stutz  47:33  
Yeah, I always say in parenting. It's actually one size fits one.

Dr. Kate Lund  47:38  
Yes, yes. That's exactly right. I love that. That's perfect. Yeah, yeah.

DJ Stutz  47:43  
So yeah, even within the same family, five kids, five different ways of raising kids. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Fair does not mean same. In fact, same is very unfair.

Dr. Kate Lund  47:56  
Yeah, absolutely. That's a great point. I agree. 100%. Well,

DJ Stutz  48:00  
Kate, thank you so much for choosing to spend this time with us. We're so enriched by your knowledge, and I am so appreciative that you agreed to come on the show.

Dr. Kate Lund  48:11  
Well, thank you. Thank you so much for having me, I greatly appreciate it.

DJ Stutz  48:18  
Be sure to check the show notes to find Dr. Kate's information, as well as a link to her TED Talk. I've listened to it. It's fantastic. So while you're there, hit the Follow button and make sure you're getting in on the amazing episodes that we have each week. And if you like what you hear in today's podcast, be sure to rate and review and tell a friend. And if you do this, I have a special gift for you. I'm going to send you a digital copy of my five days of kindness workbook for free. And this workbook is going to help guide you through five areas of kindness and make these areas a part of your life and your family traditions. So on the web page of the podcast,, just click on reviews, and then go ahead and click on leave a review. And it's that easy. 

So I'm really excited to let you guys in on the fact that the 2023 Family Matters make a summit is all set for May 15 2023. And this is an international all day event where you can watch or listen to it all. Or just to the workshops that grab your attention. And there will be speakers from all over the world and specialists in a myriad of areas. And you might find the workshop that's titled From Unwitting Saboteur to Strategic Parent Hero, especially interesting. We already have over 1000 registrants so you are going to find the link to register in the show notes. And guess what? It's not going to cost you a thing. 

Next week's guest is Susan Hayes and we're going to be talking talking about something called Choice Therapy. It is super interesting. And we are getting closer to our 100th episode. Next week will be number 99. So check it out and see and until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

Kate LundProfile Photo

Kate Lund

Bounce: Help Your Child Build Resilience and Thrive in School, Sports and Life

Dr. Kate Lund is a licensed clinical psychologist, peak performance coach, best-selling author and Tedx Speaker. With a specialized training in medical psychology, she uses a strength and evidenced-based approach to help parents and children build resilience so they can thrive in school, sports, and life. During Kate's childhood she faced and eventually overcame a difficult childhood illness, so she learned at an early age to believe in the possibility that exists on the other side of challenges.

Host: The Optimized Mind Podcast

Author: #1 Best Seller – Bounce – Help Your Child Build Resilience and Thrive in School Sports and Life